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Hunters who did not file a 2020 mandatory hunter report can still purchase a licence in 2021, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) has confirmed with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).
Non-compliance notices sent by the MNRF indicated hunters “may” not be able to buy a licence, uncertainty that created “understandable anxiety,” the OFAH stated in communication to members. The notices began circulating last spring when wild turkey and spring bear reports were due and continued until deer and wolf/coyote reports were due last week.
The OFAH is encouraging all hunters to take part in mandatory reporting, not only so they can continue to hunt, but because of the impact it has on wildlife management decisions in the province.
“The data hunters provide tracks harvest rates and reveals crucial information about our wildlife populations. This supports responsible wildlife management that identifies and addresses conservation concerns early, but also aids in ensuring ongoing and new sustainable hunting opportunities,” OFAH Wildlife Biologist Dr. Keith Munro stated. “While the OFAH supports mandatory hunter reporting as an important tool for Ontario’s wildlife management, we applaud the MNRF for recognizing the challenges and distractions the people of Ontario faced in 2020 and continue to face in early 2021.”
In light of the pandemic, the need for the mental and physical health benefits of outdoors activities like hunting will remain as important as ever in 20201, the OFAH stated, pointing out this MNRF decision will ensure hunters have that option.